OOC: The below is done with permission from Nuju Metru.
Phase One: Physical
Analysis of the subject via physical testing has yielded some insight into its properties. Evidence suggests that it exists in only one state: a nebulous fluid, which appears to be somewhere between the gaseous and liquid phases; difficult to give a traditional classification. Extremes of temperature produced no visible change. Unaffected by electromagnetic fields and charges. Sample appeared to move of its own accord irrespective of outside forces; source of energy unclear; internal? Expect to learn more from chemical tests.
Phase Two: Chemical
Chemical tests have proved frustratingly inconclusive. Samples were unreactive with overwhelming majority of reagents; fortunately, re-extraction was relatively simple. Reaction was observed under combustive conditions - unfortunately, sample was destroyed. Only one reagent yielded visible results: a sample of my blood. Colour turned from red to black - appears to have melded with sample. Promising. Moving to biological testing.
Phase Three: Biological
Experimentation on living organisms has produced significantly more satisfying results. First wave of tests were made on small Rahi, so as to minimise unnecessary wastage of Antidermis. Substance appears highly caustic; majority of Rahi were destroyed shortly after exposure. A small number, however, were affected differently: visible blackening of colouration, and subjects developed previously unseen traits and increased aggression. One Acid Fly escaped from reinforced crystal tank and proved surprisingly difficult to terminate. Transformation only observed in particularly destructive species - interesting implications.
Second wave of in-vivo testing was conducted on Matoran captives, which were injected with small doses of Antidermis. Test subjects’ organic tissue was destroyed in a matter of seconds, resulting in death in all cases (see Table 3.4 for numerical data). Analysis of psychological profiles of subjects reinforces current hypotheses. No counterexamples available; irrelevant. I am confident. Moving to final phase.
Phase Four: Self-Exposure
Echelon stopped writing, setting his pen down on the worktop next to the notes. He gave them a final glance, before turning away and picking up a small syringe that lay on a nearby table. He picked it up, examining the Antidermis within. The smoky green-black substance coiled slowly in this glass prison just as it had when he had found it in that larger one, entrancing in its deadliness. Echelon reflected on what might happen if he was wrong, on whether he would shortly be another charred skeleton like those that now lay in his testing cells. Judging by his observations of the Matoran’s behaviour as their flesh and internals were eaten away by the Antidermis, the process had been excruciatingly painful. Was it worth the risk?
Yes, it was. The experiments all pointed to one thing: one thing that could only be confirmed by exposing himself to it. And if he was right...the implications were quite enticing.
He pressed the needle against a patch of exposed skin on his upper right arm, not giving the slightest wince as the metal point pierced the surface. Slowly, he brought his thumb down against the plunger, the pressure pushing the Antidermis out until every ounce of the eldritch fluid had been squeezed into his bloodstream.
He withdrew the needle. After a couple of seconds, he frowned. Strange; nothing seemed to be happening -
The syringe fell from his hand and shattered as a spasm of pain rippled through his body. The Dark Toa stared in shock at his right arm, which had begun to shake uncontrollably. Black lines had begun to spread out from where the needle had entered, criss-crossing down his arm and growing wider, blotting out the green and turning the black yet darker - all accompanied by a burning sensation that now began to spread across his chest. It was like fire surging through his veins.
He crashed onto the worktop, trying in vain to support his quaking body with the surface, his shuddering limbs sending glassware and scientific instruments crashing to the floor. His breaths came fast and spasmodic from his jerking chest. Though his hands scrabbled for a purchase on the metal, face taut in a futile snarl, he slipped further and further down until he collapsed, twitching, on the cold floor.
The pain stopped.
Echelon opened his eyes, surrounded by broken glass, rock samples and spilled reagents. Slowly, carefully, he moved, pulling himself up until he could lean against the table with both hands, breathing slow and deep. The arms that supported him were black as night.
Something felt...different. Looking down at the polished surface, he saw eyes of a ghostly green staring back at him from behind his Tryna - black as well. But that was not it; something deep inside him had changed. He reached inward with his mind, feeling his elemental power. There it was, that well of energy, deep inside. It was familiar, still, and yet something was new.
He raised a hand, calling on his power: and shadows sprang into being around it, coiling across his palm and around his fingers. His eyes darted to a nearby scalpel, and it too was enveloped by the little tongues of blackness, floating into the air on a cushion of magnetic force.
Echelon watched the blade hover there in front of him, probing the energy that held it there. It was still magnetism, but it was also more - and in that instant he knew exactly what it was.
He turned away from the desk, and look around at the objects scattered across the laboratory. One by one, every metal tool, every glass shard, every stone, every crystal, rose up and hung in the air as if suspended on invisible strings, each one rippling with shadows. Echelon exerted his will, and they spiralled inwards, latching onto each other, held together by a new Magnetism. Dark Magnetism.
The Dark Toa - and never before had that title been so fitting - smiled at his work. With a wave of his shadow-clad hand, the myriad items separated and flew back into their proper places and the laboratory was as it had been save for a pile of broken glass on one of the worktops.
The shadows ceased their dance, and Echelon strode out of the room, the metal door closing behind him.
There was only one thing this new power could be - one thing it must be. This was the long-awaited reward for his long years of service to Makuta. He understood the Antidermis now; it was the essence of destruction. It destroyed all life it touched, except for its chosen few, and to them it gave the tools to destroy - great and terrible tools. It had made him more powerful than ever before, and destroy he would.
Too long had he stayed his hand. Too long had he kept to the shadows, working in secret. Too long had the Matoran enjoyed this time of peace and prosperity.
It was time to bring back the fear and chaos in which he had thrived. And he would not be working alone.